Orbiting – The Weepies – 2008

Being a human being is very complicated.  I know exactly what I want to say about this song, but I instantly hear every argument against it.  And all of these points of view are just as valid.  We are all humans and we make mistakes.  And we inherit all of these problems from our parents.  Even if they are just behavioral or environmental problems.  But as soon as we have our own children (if we choose to have children), then all of those problems that we inherit end up having a much sharper focus in our lives.

But sometimes, the mistakes of our parents are just too much to bear.  And sometimes there is no satisfaction to be had in confrontation.  There are some disappointments and betrayals that leave a black mark on our souls.  And there is no erasing that mark.  If you have such a mark, it takes a long time to understand that not everyone you come into contact with can see it.  But it’s also useless to talk about it sometimes.  There’s only so many times that you can rehash the same story over and over.  Especially when the re-telling only leads to more disappointments and betrayal.  Sometimes the new hurt comes from the listener as broken people have a lot of expectations about how a listener reacts to these revelations.

It’s just endless.

“You named me judge the day that I was born.”

I have a really hard time writing in a third person omniscient voice.  This seems to limit the amount of narrative I can confer.  Long stories make a lot assumptions about the nature of thought and emotion that are misleading and oversimplified.  All of life is lived from my own perpspective.  And third person omniscient point of view can make whatever assumptions about the character’s motivations and develop an entire narrative around one assumption leading to another assumption.

“You asked too much to fix what you had torn.”

Memories are filtered through the fog of developing sentience.  It’s almost as if children evolve right before our eyes.  So all of the tragedies of childhood are hazy.  All of the observations are re-interpreted with an adult thought process.  And all disappointment and betrayal is hard to decipher.

“Things got out of hand.  Now I understand.”

Most of the time, we are all really doing the best we can do.  I really know this more than ever right now.  As a parent, you do the best you can do and you still screw it up.  But I do know that there are some things that I find unconscionable, and I can’t imagine ever putting my children in these positions.  And some of that opinion has developed out of being placed in those situations.

“And I’m out of your range.  Now it’s kind of strange.  How we change orbit in our lives.”

And in my story, there are convenient packages where we contain devices of truce.  This allows for civil interaction.  And some genuine love and affection.  But in another fiction there is real lifelong pain and a betrayal that runs so deep that its resurfacing is inevitable.  It’s always there.  And it’s always troubling.

“You were kind of the moon outside of my room.  I could just feel you nearby.”

Really there is no describing these marks.  And whether or not we have our devices to contain them, we can become the sum total of our wounds.  And there is so much hope with a new life.  But the reality of the human condition leaves almost no alternative to betraying our children.

“Now I feel you gone.”

It’s almost essential in the individuation process.  And it breaks my heart into so many pieces.

“Cause I know which side you’re on.  And it’s not mine.”

Sometimes I really didn’t feel like I belonged in my family.  There seemed to be a genuine disconnect where I somehow turned out just different enough from them that I couldn’t ever get real understanding.  My mother can admit as much as this now.   It’s one of our packages.  And it’s convenient and it works.  But it doesn’t do anything to erase the black mark on my soul.

“I walk the line between now and then.  It’s deep sea diving with no oxygen.”

And I really don’t know how to tie this story together.  And the agonizing part is that I can’t control how it turns out with a bunch of assumptions based on my third person omniscient voice.  I can’t control even my own motivation.  I can’t turn my own fiction into a truth.  And I can’t turn my own truth into a fiction.  But I can sort of toy with the concept like it’s a poem.  I show you this side and that side.  I turn it over and I observe it over and over again, and it never turns into a nice package that I can hand back to you and rest my case.  It’s just a lot of beautiful words about something I don’t quite understand.

“I went somewhere to hide.  Far behind my eyes.”

And there is this fantasy that somehow everything will just straighten out.  Maybe someone will come along and say the right thing.  Or just be what is necessary.  But the fantasy just gets us further and further away from reality.  And this fantasy can get dangerous.  How do we find ourselves when we have hidden ourselves so well?

“I willed you there to see.  But you never came for me.”

I love the meandering melodies in the verses.  And then the chorus melody just sort of cascades through to a conclusion.  And there is a nice feel to the whole thing.   Somewhere between folk, pop, rock and island music.  The second guitar sort of wanders all over the structure creating these harmonies and textures with subtle effects and breathy tones.  So sweet and floating.  And there feels like there will be some universal release from our pain when it’s all over.  But it’s just the same conclusion we come to over and over.

“And it’s not mine.  And it’s not mine.  And it’s not mine.”

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